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Home Bistro Review 2022: Quick and Easy Gourmet Meals

Written by: Matthew Ryan on Apr 13th, 2022

Overview

Home Bistro is a gourmet service focusing on prepared meals by renowned chefs

I’ve researched plenty of meal delivery services before, but I had some misgivings about trying Home Bistro. I’d always associated ready meals with frozen supermarket dinners and I’d yet to try one I could describe as “gourmet” in taste.

Still, I placed my Home Bistro order with an open mind and it didn’t disappoint. The food certainly lived up to its gourmet marketing and it couldn’t have been easier to make, taking just a few minutes in the microwave. There’s no subscription and you can also order just one meal to try, which is a low-risk way to sample a new service.

While I enjoyed my experience, this service won’t be right for everyone. Home Bistro caters to a few different diets but there are limitations when it comes to allergies and many will find the pricing restrictive. Read on for my full, tried-and-tested review.  

What I liked

What I didn’t like

  • Meals are expensive

  • You don’t get to choose which meals you get in each Meal Combo

  • The portion sizes are small

Home Bistro Is Best For

  • People who want high-quality food, with no cooking required

  • People who want gourmet meals for special occasions

  • People who want a foolproof way to stick to diets like low-sodium, heart-healthy, or vegetarian

What’s on Home Bistro’s Menu

The Home Bistro menu offers collections from three well-regarded chefs – Cat Cora,  Daina Falk, and Claudia Sandoval – and it has plans to expand to include additional chefs soon. You can search the menu by chef if you have a favorite.

Meals can be ordered singularly or in Meal Combos, which come in groups of 6, 7, 10, 12, or 20. As with many services, the more meals you order, the lower the price per serving.

The menu caters to a wide range of dietary preferences, including:

  • Diabetic Friendly

  • Family Meal

  • Healthy Gourmet

  • Heart Friendly

  • Heart Healthy

  • Lower Sodium

  • Vegetarian

While there are useful allergen filters when you browse individual meals, you can’t filter the Meal Combos in the same way.

Instead, you’ll have to check through the ingredients and allergens present in each meal. That can be tiresome and time-consuming if you’re choosing one of the larger Meal Combos, where you may have to check up to 20 recipes.

Here’s a quick summary of Home Bistro.

Pricing

Lunch Bowls around $14 a serving.

Meal Combos around $16-22 per serving. Single-serving portions up to $34.99.

Meal plan options available 

Vegetarian, gluten-free, heart-healthy, low sodium, paleo, cancer support, diabetic-friendly, low-carb 


Shipping costs

Free 

Special deals

FREE SHIPPING ON ORDERS OVER $75

Home Bistro Unboxing

As I mentioned earlier, Home Bistro gives you the option to order just one single meal, which is what I did.

The single meal came in an insulated foil sleeve with an ice pack to keep it cold, which worked well. It arrived shortly after lunchtime, so I decided to have it for dinner that same night and kept the meal in the fridge until then.

As it was a prepared meal, there really wasn’t any prep work required when dinner time rolled around. I won’t go as far as to say it’s completely foolproof because I still managed to goof it up and took the plastic film half off before I realized it was supposed to stay on. Oops! Then, it went straight in the microwave.

The sleeve could go in with the rest of my recyclables and the ice pack was small enough that it was easily reusable. If you’re ordering meals regularly, though, you might struggle to reuse that many ice packs.

Other companies do more in this arena. In particular, Sunbasket devotes a page of its site to information on recycling and reusing all the materials it sends with an order. There’s no comparable page on the Home Bistro site and packaging details aren’t covered in the FAQs.

Cooking (and Eating) with Home Bistro

I tried the Lemon-Caper Piccata Steak with Roasted Garlic Marbled Potatoes and Tunisian Cauliflower Gratin.

Despite the fact that I microwaved the food (and messed up the ridiculously simple prep instructions), it turned out delicious. I usually find microwaving food – meat especially – can make it rubbery and bland. That wasn’t the case with Home Bistro.

My only issue was that the portion was too small. If you’ve ever been to a fancy restaurant, you’ll know that gourmet food portions do tend to run small. I’m a 220+ lb guy who stands a little over six feet tall with a pretty big appetite, so I guess portion size is destined to be a problem for me!

In terms of quality, though, I would recommend Home Bistro’s meals to anyone.

Shipping & Delivery

The delivery service was excellent. I made an order on a Thursday night and it arrived the following Tuesday afternoon. Home Bistro uses FedEx to ship its orders.

Although Home Bistro offers free shipping (even on small orders like my single meal), it charges a small fee for route insurance ($0.98).

Customer Service

I ordered a second meal (The Zesty Tofu Vegetarian Feast) to test out some more of the features of the site, including the cancellation process. And I have to say, I have mixed feelings about Home Bistro’s Customer Service.

My issue is with the real-time support. When I wanted to cancel my second order, I searched the Home Bistro contact page, expecting to find a quick and easy option. Instead, all I found was a form and a promise that someone would try to get back to me within 24 hours.

When it comes to cancellations, 24 hours can be a long time to wait. There was no phone number or live chat option. For comparison, Sunbasket and Freshly have all of those things and more.

I spent a lot of time looking for a way to cancel my second order. I finally had to send the email. Home Bistro canceled the order pretty quickly and I wasn’t charged for something I didn’t want, but in my opinion, the site should have had a much more streamlined process.

Home Bistro Prices

One of the main differences between Home Bistro and other prepared meal delivery services like Freshly or Sunbasket is the price. To put it bluntly, Home Bistro is more expensive. Presumably, this is because Home Bistro offers chef-prepared, gourmet meals.

Home Bistro’s lunch bowls start at around $13 apiece for an order of 10. The least expensive vegetarian dinners can be purchased in groups of 10 for $161.66 or roughly $16 a meal.

This is significantly more expensive than Sunbasket, which has prepared meals starting from $9.99. And, it’s also more expensive than Freshly which, at its highest price, charges $11.79 per meal for a plan with four meals (many Home Bistro meals land above $20).

Although both Sunbasket and Freshly charge for shipping and Home Bistro does not, the savings there don’t compensate for the higher prices of the Home Bistro meals. 

Home Bistro Subscription

How to Sign Up

To sign up, click the login link at the top right corner of the homepage. At the bottom, click Sign up to go to the Create Account page, where you’ll need to fill out your name, email, and password. Then hit the Sign Up button.

You’ll be emailed an activation link that’s good for a few hours. Click on it, and you’re good to go!

Now you can log in to view your orders.

Managing Your Subscription

You can pick and choose meals between the different Meal Combos as often as you like. There’s no subscription to sign up for meals on a regular basis. This makes Home Bistro one of the more flexible services out there. It’s great if you want to supplement your diet with the odd gourmet meal for a special occasion. 

Cancellations

While there’s no subscription to pause, I covered how to cancel an individual order above and I wrote a separate blog all about how to cancel your account completely.

Home Bistro vs. Other Meal Delivery Services

Here’s how Home Bistro’s offerings compare with three similar alternatives: Freshly, Sunbasket, and Marley Spoon.


Home Bistro

Freshly

Sunbasket

Marley Spoon

Starting Price

$14.99

$7.74

$5.99

$1.99

Servings  Available 

10

12

Up to 10 prepared meals, up to 20 meal kit servings

24

Meal Types 

Prepared Meals

Prepared Meals

Meal Kits and Prepared Meals

Meal Kits

Pescatarian 

✔ 

Vegetarian

Vegan

Diabetic- Friendly

Heart-Healthy

Cancer Support

Gluten-Free

Low-Sodium

Paleo

Low-Carb

Low-Calorie

Special Discount

FREE SHIPPING ON ORDERS OVER $75

Save $125, Promo Code: SAVE125AFF

$90 off Plus a Free Gift!

Get $120 off Your First 5 Boxes

The Bottom Line

I found the food at Home Bistro delicious, but expensive – it markets itself as gourmet food, after all. The portion size was also gourmet, meaning it was far too small for my appetite. The site is easy to use, and with no subscription model tying you down, it’s really easy to try out with no strings attached, so you can see if the portions work for you.

Home Bistro caters to a wide range of dietary preferences, but the Meal Combos can be inflexible as you can’t choose what’s in them. This will mainly be an issue for picky eaters or those with restrictions, however, you can order some individual meals as standalones.

If you’re looking for easy-to-prepare gourmet meals, and are prepared to pay a slightly higher price, Home Bistro may be right up your street.

FAQ 

How Are Home Bistro Meals Delivered?

Home Bistro meals are delivered to your address via Fed Ex. They’re also shipped “Driver Release” meaning that no signature is required. Meals will be delivered to your doorstep in a package kept cool with ice.

Is a Home Delivery Service Worth It?

Meal delivery services save you time and energy by removing much of the burden of meal planning and preparation.

Prepared meal delivery services (like Home Bistro and Freshly) are awesome in this regard. Home Bistro meals can be prepared in under 15 minutes in the oven, and in less than five in the microwave. Freshly operates at similar speeds.

Another alternative is a meal kit delivery service, like Marley Spoon, that provides recipes with only the ingredients you need in the quantity you need. You’ll never have to purchase a full bottle of expensive sauce that you’ll use once and then leave in the refrigerator for months on end.

Finally, if you’re environmentally conscious, these services also lessen your impact on the environment by not only reducing waste but using recyclable packaging materials.

About The Author

Matthew Ryan

Contributing Writer, Delivery Rank

Matt enjoys all sorts of cuisine from fast food to fine dining. He’s been writing professionally for about 10 years, starting in fantasy fiction and moving into on-line content writing in 2021. He lives in the Northeastern U.S. with his dog, Cicero (also a big fan of dining).

Matt enjoys all sorts of cuisine from fast food to fine dining. He’s been writing professionally for about 10 years, starting in fantasy fiction and moving into on-line content writing in 2021. He lives in the Northeastern U.S. with his dog, Cicero (also a big fan of dining).

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